Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Medical Marijuana in Monterey County

with 4 comments

I’m just back from getting my flu shot, and while I was there I asked my doctor if he had received any requests to approve medical marijuana. (Monterey County just began to issue medical marijuana ID cards; story below.)

He said that he had received a dozen or so requests, most of which obviously were of merit (e.g., a patient with a closed head injury). However, because of the possibility of the loss of his license (and thus his livelihood), he was not going to approve any requests.

Understandable, especially since the DEA has lately begun to target doctors and patients, while claiming that they are not. So it goes.

The news story from the local paper:

The Monterey County Health Department quietly began taking applications for state-issued medical marijuana identification cards last week.

“We’re doing this without fanfare,” said Len Foster, county director of health. “It’s not something that, from the public health perspective, we want to promote but are required to do it by state law.”

The identification cards are actually issued by the state Department of Health under a 2003 law drafted to clarify voter-approved Proposition 215. The card identifies patients who have received a doctor’s recommendation to use pot to ease their ailments, but it does not protect them from federal prosecution.

“Some patients are confused,” said Aaron Smith, statewide coordinator for Safe Access Now, an organization that pushes for legislation to help patients get access to medicinal marijuana. “They say ‘What’s the point to pay $116 per card?’ It’s a voluntary program. Patients are covered under Proposition 215 whether they have a card, but that keeps them from having to go to jail in the first place.”

In Monterey County, one person has applied to get the identification card, Foster said, and Safe Access Now estimates there could be about 1,000 patients locally who need access to cannabis for medical reasons. Of those, only about 200 are likely to apply.

“Enrollment in the program is slow,” Smith said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if nobody in the community knows about it in Monterey County.”

Although the will of the voters favored letting the very ill use marijuana [the government, so far as I can tell, cares little about the will of the voters — LG], there are still few avenues for them to purchase it safely. According to research by Salinas administrators, only 24 cities and seven counties allow the dispensaries. Thirty-nine cities and two counties ban them outright, and 80 cities and six counties have moratoria in place.

Salinas has a one-year moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, but last month failed to get the necessary votes to make the ban permanent. City officials are expected to take another vote — when all council members are present — in the next few weeks. The ban is likely to be approved.

Although California’s law doesn’t shield medical marijuana users from federal prosecution, Smith said that 99 percent of the pot arrests are made by state and local law enforcement officials.

“Unfortunately, until federal laws change, the seriously ill are being put at risk,” Smith said.

In the last few weeks, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has raided 13 pot dispensaries in San Mateo and Los Angeles. A lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of a women’s cooperative in Santa Cruz is making its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2007 at 3:50 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Marijuana Medicine Evaluation Center is committed to providing patients a safe and professional medical marijuana evaluation in California. Medicinal marijuana has proven to be a successful alternative health treatment for hundreds of aliments a diseases. Marijuana Medicine Evaluation Center is not only committed to providing California medical marijuana recommendations but also medicinal marijuana information and news.

    Call 800.268.4420 to make an appointment, tell them Alex Sent You!


  2. IT is really sad that the people of this great country can’t seem to shake free of the political theater that hides our federal government.
    There is a document written by some people you might have heard of, the document is called, THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Amendment 9 is the Enumerated Powers Act. It lays out the rules governing the Federal Government, explicitly outlining the power of the Federal Government. It states in laymens terms that the Feds can’t tell a state what can and cannot be illegal. if one state wants M.Mj I all for it, if it doesn’t and that is how the people voted then so be it. Be big brother and big business have held this amazing plant in a criminal light for long enough. Lets educate our friends and family and take the plant back.



    4 May 2011 at 4:47 pm

  3. I too, asked 5 of my physicians for prescription for medican Marijuana. All 5 declined for fear of losing their licenses to practice legal drug dispensing.
    Unfortunately, legal medications are harmeful to me. I have adverse reactions. I have no way to manage my pain. While recovering from serious surgery, I managed to get a few marijuana cookies. They were so helpful for managaing the pain. I have no adverse reactions. I use part of cookie at night before sleeping. I have a restful sleep, waking refreshed in the am.


    Ruth Daskaloff

    25 October 2011 at 4:37 pm

  4. Your physicians are ill-informed or (more likely) simply hostile to marijuana and the fact that it can be helpful. On the “Useful Posts” page (upper right) I provide these links:

    Medical marijuana tools — information on resources
    Key rulings on medical marijuana — links to actual court decisions

    Google things like “medical marijuana resources california” and “medical marijuana support california” for additional links.



    25 October 2011 at 5:20 pm

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